They spent most of their lives preparing for them, and the entire summer trying to forget about them!
Wednesday, 15 August was the day hundreds of students across East Cork discovered what Leaving Cert results look like.
Many opted to check their results online, with some going on holiday and calling their school for the results.
In Cobh, Midleton and Youghal there was a gradual trickle of students throughout the morning to pick up their results in person.
For most, it was a day filled with emotion, smiles, laughter, plenty of hugging and some tears.
This was the second year of a new grading system, with the number of grades being reduced from 14 to 8
The new marking scheme has done away with the traditional A’s and B’s and instead introduces a sliding scale from 1-8, in both higher and ordinary levels.
The number of students receiving H1’s in the core subjects of Maths, English, Geography and Irish are down on last year, although those taking higher level papers in French, History, Business and Biology received better results, with double the number receiving top grades in science.
At St Colman’s Community College Midleton Principal, Karen Casey, said the results were “very pleasing” in both the Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert applied papers.
“A significant number of students received distinctions and over 500 points” she said.
Midleton College Principal, Dr Edward Gash, said the school had outstanding results again this year. Great credit was due to the students and teaching staff whose hard work led to the students’ extraordinary achievement, he said,
The college had 1 of just 7 students nationally to receive 8 H1’s.
Liam Meria, who is a triplet, intends to study medicine in Trinity after receiving top marks. His sister, Katie, was one of ten student in the College to get a H1 in Politics and Social studies, a new subject on the curriculum this year.
A total of 774 sat the first ever Politics and Society paper nationwide, with just 46 receiving the top grade. The achievement means the College has received 43% of the H1 grades in the subject nationally.
Ms Brigit O’Riordan, who delivered the Political Studies course said the achievement is even more remarkable as there was no book or material developed for the delivery of the course until this year.
In Carrignafoy Community College Cobh Principal, Frank O’Donovan, said he was “very pleased overall” with the performance of his school.
In St Aloysius Carrigtwohill and Pobailscoil na Trionoide in Youghal, similar sentiments were expressed.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, urged students to consider Apprenticeships and Traineeships which is in focus with a skills base as part of the Government’s national strategy.
For those who didn’t do as well as they expected, the advice is not to panic. There are many alternatives out there. There are PLC courses which have direct access to college courses in UCC and CIT. Take your time and think things out carefully.
The National Parents Council is providing a free phone number for both parents and students.
Professional Guidance Counsellors will be available to give advice and support.
Helpline phone number: 1800 265 165
Lines will be open from 10am to 7pm today Thursday 16 August and from 10:00am – 1:00pm Friday 17 August.
On Monday 20 August and Tuesday 21 August the phone line will be open from 8:00am – 7:00pm to help those with CAO queries, and again on Wednesday 22 August from 8:00am – 1:00pm.